Dad – The Gift of Family and Food

 

IMG_3560I have been thinking a lot the past few days of what one gift dad gave me in my life. My thoughts always go back to family and food. For those who know me, you are well aware how much family and food are in my daily life. For dad it was the same. He loved his family. He was very devoted to every single family member. Not just mom, (for 67 years I will have you know), not just us kids or his grandchildren but his mom and dad and his siblings. He used to visit his parents and all of his siblings on a regular basis throughout the year, he tried almost weekly, up until he couldn’t anymore.

Holidays were filled with lots of food, family and fun. We would go to Grandpa Caruso’s, Aunt Bessie’s, or Uncle Mario’s for Christmas Eve and Christmas. Uncle Sammy’s home or Aunt Mary’s camp for the summer holidays.  Thanksgiving was at our home. I always loved the excitement in our home getting ready for Thanksgiving. The big event was Mom and Dad cleaning the turkey the night before. They seemed like they really enjoyed doing that job together. Getting the basement set up with the tables, plates, and silverware.  Loading up the refrigerator with soda and beer. Then the best part, the chalkboard. I am sure everyone remembers the chalk board and Dad’s fun comments he would write on there. I can vividly see him sitting at the table playing cards, laughing and having so much fun with his brother’s and sister’s. He loved those gatherings. They were very important to him.

Every Friday night after work he would make dinner. Peas and Macaroni was the popular dish.  That was my favorite. Sometimes he would stop at Atlantic Seafood and get fish, scallops and fries, or even an occasional breakfast for dinner. We all enjoyed those meals. There was always a seat for any of our friends. He never turned anyone away. There was always enough food to go around, conversation and laughter. He made sure of that.

Fast forward to my home today and we have Pizza Fridays and dinner every Sunday. This is our tradition. Our kids come over and sometimes they bring a friend or two. I never turn them away and there is always enough food and fun for everyone.

I never really thought about where I got the tradition of family gatherings. I never thanked dad for this wonderful gift. The importance of family, a great meal and making room for anyone who pops in to our front door.  It is a wonderful gift.  I am very fortunate to have unwrapped it.  Thanks, Dad. I love you.  You will be missed but remembered every Friday and Sunday in my heart.

Random Thoughts – How to Stay Young

I saw this in my internet travels. When I was in Syracuse in July  my mom was in rehab for a fractured pelvis.  I would visit dad at their assisted living apartment.  (For some reason I can’t call that their home.  They left their home 6 years ago.)  Needless to say I saw a stack of papers in on her table and noticed one was a story Eric wrote long ago.  I knew in those papers there were probably articles she cherished.   Amongst the papers was #10.   However, as I read through these ways to “Stay Young” there are many more that mom has reminded me about over the years. Like #2, 4, 5 and 6 and all the rest.  So, enjoy the take a deep breath and enjoy the read.  I know my mom would.  August 044

“How to Stay Young”
(Author; unknown)

1. Throw out non-essential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctor worry about them. That is why you pay him/her. (Well, I am not sure about this one but I will ignore the age part.)

 2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down. (This is so true.  Get that negativity out of your life.  Life is way too short to deal with it and it definitely brings you down.)

3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain idle. ” An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.” And the devil’s name is Alzheimer’s. (Since my dad has Alzheimer’s I think about this often.  My cooking hobby keeps me busy.  I am always doing something.  If you know me you know I am not idle…EVER.)August 017 66 years together this November!

4. Enjoy the simple things. (Need I say more.)

5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath. (One person who can make me laugh totally out of control is my brother Scott.  I just don’t see him enough.  When I do, watch out!)

6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive. (Believe in yourself and nothing can stop you.)

7. Surround yourself with what you love, whether it’s family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge. (Your home is so important.  We are so fortunate to have that, aren’t we?)

8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help. (Just take care of yourself, it is not that hard!)

9. Don’t take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, to the next county, to a foreign country, but NOT to where the guilt is. (I don’t know about this one.  My mom gave me lots of guilt trips to travel.  I try it with my kids every once in a while.  They just go to the mall :D)

10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity. And always remember: Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. (You can never tell them enough, can you?)

Take that deep breath, again!  Ciao!!

Why you should start a blog :)

Today was a wonderful day.  First thing, I got a text from Eric this morning.  He said he was making sauce. Along with the text was a photo of his laptop with my blog beaming from it along with some chopped onions in front of it. july 033  That made my day. 🙂

I started this blog because I was making pizzas for my family.  Martin and my friend Jill (from Atlanta) kept telling me to do a blog.  I thought they were crazy.  It ended up being a diary for my kids with family recipes along with many, many other recipes.  For Christmas 2014 I made “cookbooks” out of my blog recipes for the kids.  I chose recipes out of my blog that were traditional recipes for our family and ones I knew they enjoyed through the years.  I wanted them to have the love of my “kitchen madness” online and in a notebook in their own kitchens.  I believe I succeeded in sharing my love of food with each of them. Here is why;

Today, Eric sent me texts throughout the morning while I was at work.  The best one he sent was when he said his home “starting to smell like home”.  july 034 How awesome is that?! I knew exactly what he meant. I often have memories of my childhood in my home with the scents of what I cook in my kitchen today.  Especially, when I cook sauce (I think it’s the garlic). 🙂 Times in my kitchen will bring back Sunday memories at my childhood home or at my grandparents home.  The powerful scent of food and those very special days. My mom in the kitchen, all of my family at the kitchen table having a wonderful dinner, being at Grandpa Caruso’s with all my aunts,uncles and cousins.  They sure were special days that I can appreciate now.  I sure didn’t back then!!  By the way, Eric was happy with the end result of his sauce and had a delicious lunch!!

Then this afternoon I received a phone call from Martin2.  He said he called to say hi but mostly he wanted to let me know how much he enjoyed my blog. He thinks it is awesome how I share the recipes of our home and how he can check them out any time he wants. (He is living and working in Door County for the summer.)  He was heading into work and was bringing with him the Tarator (cold cucumber soup) he made this morning.  He made this recipe to share with his coworkers. How special is that!   He mentioned there is a Bulgarian coworker that he especially wanted to share this soup with.  He wanted to see what she thought of this recipe.  I have made Tarator many, many times in our home.  I will be curious to see what she thinks and take any advice she can give to make it more authentic to the Bulgarian way.  🙂

As I am typing away I received a text from Martin.  He was making Calamari for Martin2 for dinner.  He made a marinade for the Calamari and sent me a pic.July 001   He was very excited to make something he has never done before. (and looking forward to Martin2 coming home for a day!).  I thought it was ironic as I am sharing my thoughts on my blog that he ended up texting a pic of his dinner.  Once again a reminder of how much love we put in our food for each other.  I mentioned to him that Martin2 called earlier about my blog.  His reply was a perfect ending to the start of a wonderful day.  July 002

I never, ever thought this silly blog would end up meaning so much to my family.  It is so nice to see (especially all in one day, from the start to the end) that it truly does have meaning and shows my family how special they are to me and how much I love every single one of them.  Am I lucky or what?!

IMG_4261Kent and I june 018Lily and Paige june 017 Eric and Rachel june 021Martin and Martin2 july 008 and last but not least Roonster!

 

Olive Oils and Balsamic Vinegars

Today, Martin, Martin2 and I went on a road trip to Milwaukee.  We happen to enjoy shopping together.  Our goal was to go to Pleasant Prairie Outlet Mall.  On the way there we stopped at the Milwaukee Public Market. Believe it or not in the 13 1/2 years I have lived in Wisconsin I have never been to this market.  Martin2 thought I would enjoy this pit stop.  It was wonderful.  There was lots of different restaurants and food entertainment for my pleasure.  There was a spice place, flower place, odds and end kitchen place, cheese place, lots of food to enjoy and my most favorite – Oro di Oliva.  If I have a weakness, this is it. A place with different oils and balsamic vinegar.  I tasted almost every single flavor they have.  I ended up getting their Popular Pairing Sample january 005and a large bottle of the Tuscan Herb Olive Oil.  So delicious!!

We went to Pleasant Prairie Outlet Mall.  Very much fun and enjoyed our window shopping with a touch of purchases.  Being able to walk outside, with the sun shining, fabulous company, lots of chatting and laughter was a perfect day.

Ending the evening with Kent and I having a couple of beers and a homemade pizza was wonderful.  Our pizza was a combination of the Tuscan Herb Olive oil and 18 year Balsamic Vinegar, a dash of dried oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme, “my seasoning“, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheese. january 003  Now that is Simple and Delicious!!

The Year of the Cookbook

The Year of the Cookbook

I sit in my woman cave (just my upstairs room) alone, well maybe not alone, I have my dog hanging with me. It is a couple of weeks before Christmas and I think about gifts for that special day. I have so many ideas on my mind that I could give. I can give money, video games, clothes, books, gift cards, the list could go on and on. This year I want to do something different. So, I think… I love to cook for my family. They love me to cook for them. How about a cookbook! I have a food blog. This is easy, right?

I start by printing out recipes I know they will love. You just know, no doubts. Then I send a text to all of them and ask for three different meals and one exceptionally delicious sweet that they love. I tell them this is for our Christmas Eve menu. (Aren’t I sneaky?) Then I print out those recipes from my blog. I had to add one – Eric’s favorite Chicken Wing recipe. Only one, not too shabby! I then print out these recipes and a few more I knew they enjoyed.

Next was to decide what to put the recipes in; a folder, a binder, a I DON’T KNOW!!! I ended up picking up binders. I chose binders as close to their favorite colors as I could find. Picked up dividers and sheet protectors. The sheet protectors would keep the recipes from tearing and getting dirty, if they actually use them. Hey, that’s reality!

Next, how to make it personal and a little special. Well, I am a Post It crazy person. I put everything I need to remember on Post It’s. As I complete the task I rip them off and throw them away. I even have a Post It app on my phone. Actually, it is called Sticky Notes. It works just the same. The kids know this is my reminder method. That is just what I do!

So, I print out the recipes, some foodie quotes december 012and placed in sheet protectors, made a cover page letting them know how much I love them, because I do. Then the Post It notes. I bought vibrant colored ones. Put some special, personal notes together december 011and added those to some of the pages.  Then I thought what is a cookbook without a DVD so I added “Chef” to it. december 010 Great movie for any foodie out there! That made it complete!!

Christmas Eve came and I gave them their gifts. I am pretty sure they enjoyed receiving this gift made with love. I know I had quite fun putting it together. Definitely as much as spending time in my kitchen making the food they love.

Not sure if I could top this gift ever. I guess I have to keep spending time in my kitchen, making different recipes that they will love to add to this cookbook. I think that they will agree!!

There is nothing more important in our family than food, conversation, more food, laughs, some sweets, more laughter, more food and sweets and lots of love. We will have to see if I can top this gift next year. In the meantime I will definitely maintain that “Tradition in my Kitchen!!”

Tradition in the Kitchen – Random Stuff

I have been thinking a lot lately about our family “tradition in the kitchen”.  I have been going over my blog checking all the recipes I have done since I started in October 2011.  One of my first “Random Stuff” entries was about Eric and the gifts he had been giving me over a one year period related to pizza.  Here is that entry from January 3, 2012;

For Christmas last year (that would be 2010)Eric’s gift to me was a pizza peel.  When I got it I wasn’t sure when I would use it.  I discovered this great kitchen tool about 2 months ago when I started my pizza challenge.  I use it ALL the time.  Then for my birthday this year Eric got me this fabulous Emile Henry pizza stone and a pizza rocker.  (I see a theme here!)  I use each of these great kitchen tools every time I make pizza.  As you know that is every single week.  So, if you are serious (or not) about pizza here are a few of my great gifts.  Thanks, Eric!  🙂

 

december 005

 

Zipping forward to 2014, who would have thought that taking on a 50 State, 50 Pizza challenge would turn into such a family tradition.  Those gifts kept me going and going with pizzas.  We have had pizza almost every Friday since October 2011.  We tried changing it up every now and then and that was fun but we always go back to pizza.  Every Friday I use that pizza peel, Emile Henry pizza stone and pizza rocker.  Every Friday Eric is the first to arrive joining Kent and I in our discussion about our week, current events and all kinds of crazy conversation.

I never say much about Eric because he is a private person. I think he should know that the pizza peel was the stepping block into a wonderful journey, every Friday with all of us talking, laughing, sometimes not so laughing, enjoying, sometimes maybe not so enjoying but in the end being there for each other.  Always there for each other.  That is our Pizza Fridays and our “tradition in the kitchen”.

 

Rocky Mountain High – Family, Food, Fun high that is!!

The Martin’s and I took a road trip to see Scott and Kathleen in Denver last week. July 2014 084 Now, I think you can imagine 17 hours, one way with these guys.  Lots of talking, music and driving.  It was a blast!  We surprised Scott and Kathleen by getting to their front door 12 hours earlier than they expected. 🙂  We ended up going to Cherry Creek which is a really nice area in Denver to shop.  Kathleen’s employer is in this area.  We had breakfast at The Syrup and did lots of walking around at the different shops.  After a long drive why not go shopping!

Scott and Kathleen, as always, were wonderful hosts.  Our first official day there we drove up to Mount Evans. On the way up we stopped by a lake and took our first photo op.

July 2014 098    denver photo op 3 denver photo op 4

Next was Mount Evans.  It was a beautiful drive up to the 14,264-foot summit.  We passed quite a few bicyclists on the way up.  Scott mentioned that he biked up this mountain.  I cannot imagine biking up this mountain.  Car ride works for me! MtEvans4 MtEvansMtEvans7  MtEvans6

The next day we ventured to Boulder.  We started our day at Chautauqua Park.  They have a wonderful restaurant there and breakfast was delicious.  After that, the Farmer’s Market and shopping on Pearl St.  “The Peppercorn” is a fun kitchen store I always visit when I go to Boulder. Pretty much shopping and enjoying the scenery there and while driving up to Boulder and back to Denver.  Scott drove quite the scenic route on the way back to Denver. Martin2 and I enjoyed the wolf sculpture on Pearl St.   I think he enjoyed it more though! 😉 July 2014 113

That evening we ended up having a food night, which we thoroughly enjoyed.  Martin2 found some recipes in Food Network Magazines that Kathleen had laying around.  Kathleen mentioned she would like to get rid of the ample zucchini she had picked from her garden.  We found some stuffed zucchini recipes and settled on Tex Mex and Italian Stuffed Zucchini along with a 3 bean salad recipe.  Martin2 also  found a great rub for flank steak. These were very simple to make, especially with 3 faux chefs in the kitchen and a sous faux chef.  We totally forgot to take photos.  Too busy enjoying our time in the kitchen and conversation.  We enjoyed this simple and delicious meal on the Caruso Partio. July 2014 114Denverus What more could you ask but to spend an awesome time having fun with your family and sharing a delicious meal together?!

The next day the guys went to Red Rocks for a hike.  I have been there a few times.  Love it, but Kathleen and I hung out at the house.  Coffee and chatting on the partio in the morning was always very enjoyable.  It appears they had fun at Red Rocks.  Martin found a sculpture he also enjoyed! Denver3 When hiking they had to stay on the trail.  For all of us who know Martin that could be a challenge. This photo is perfect!!! Denver4   Of course we have the photo op with a beautiful background scenery of Red Rocks. Denver1

Everywhere I have been in Colorado is just beautiful.  July 2014 101July 2014 108July 2014 116

Thanks Scott and Kathleen! We had a wonderful time with you two.  Couldn’t have asked for a better vacation!

 

Italian Stuffed Zucchini

Ingredients

2 medium zucchini, halve lengthwise
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
1 Tablespoon juice from lemon
1/4 cup marinara sauce (I bought some tomato sauce, added 1 garlic clove, fresh basil, touch of parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.  Simmered for 15-20 minutes and there is your marinara sauce.Save the extra for later!!)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Line baking dish with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
2.  Scoop out seeds from the zucchini, leave  a 1/4 inch thick shell
3.  Combine ricotta, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, parsley, lemon juice in a medium bowl.  Season the zucchini with salt and pepper, fill with ricotta mixture.
4. Place zucchini on prepared baking dish. Drizzle each zucchini half with about 1 Tablespoon marinara sauce, then sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup parmesan cheese.
5.  Bake until cheese is melted and bubbling, about 20 minutes.

Tex Mex Stuffed Zucchini

Ingredients

2 medium zucchini
Kosher salt
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder (use chili powder if you don’t have this)
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 Large tomato, finely chopped
3 Tablespoons scallions, chopped
3 Tablespoons  fresh cilantro, chopped
Sliced pickled jalapenos, for topping (optional) – we did not have this time

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2.  Halve 2 (not 3, you need the extra one for later) zucchini lengthwise; scoop out the seeds.  Then scoop out flesh leaving a 1/4 inch thick shell.  Chop the scooped out zucchini flesh and transfer to a bowl.
3.  Grate the remaining whole zucchini on the large holes of a box grater.  We peeled the skin before grating.  Add the grated zucchini to the bowl of chopped zucchini.  Add 1 teaspoon salt.  Set aside 10 minutes, then squeeze out the liquid.
4.  Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat.  Add the garlic, minced jalapeno, chili powder and grated zucchini mixture; cook until tender, about 4 minutes.  Let cool, then stir in cheese.
5.  Spoon into zucchini halves.  Transfer to baking sheet and bake until bubbling, about 20-25 minutes.
6.  While baking, combine the tomato, scallions and cilantro in a small bowl.  Spoon over the zucchini.  Top with the pickled jalapenos.

Chili and Coffee Rubbed Steaks

1 1/2 tablespoons cumin
1/4 cup freshly ground coffee (Martin2 and I walked to Starbucks and picked out a bold Italian Roast, got a Turkish grind and that worked perfectly)
1 1/2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 Tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/2 Tablespoon coarse ground pepper
1-1 1/2#  flank steak (or whatever steak you desire)

Directions

1.  Mix all dry ingredients together.
2.  Blot the steaks dry.  Brush the meat with a little canola oil. Spread the coffee rub on a baking sheet and roll the steaks in the mixture to coat, using about 1 tablespoon per steak. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour but no longer-otherwise, the meat will begin to cure.
3.  Preheat a grill to medium high. Drizzle a little canola oil on both sides of each steak, then grill 5 to 6 minutes per side for medium rare.
4.  Transfer the steaks to a cutting board and let rest 15 minutes before slicing. YUMMY!

 

 

Happy Anniversary

Today, June 28, 2014,  is our 28th wedding anniversary.  Kent and I met in 1982.   I eyed this young, bearded stranger at 1am on a Saturday night in early February.  Since that day we have been together. We moved in together and have never looked back.  23 years young and in love.  What a fabulous way to start a life. (I  took my first plane flight to Los Angeles to meet him for a business trip.  I was petrified.  He was there to meet me at LAX and that was all that mattered.  I remember that as if it were yesterday.)  We had many more first times of doing things together.  How awesome is that?!

Our first apartment together was me moving in to this condo he was renting.  Our next apartment was a dive in Baldwinsville, NY.  It was wonderful.  We then ended up moving into another apartment in Baldwinsville.  I consider this apartment our first, official home. It was a beautiful old house that was split into 2 apartments.  It had such character.

Then we got married!  Our wedding day was quite a memorable day.  Married by a Justice of the Peace, outside on a beautiful, sunny, warm day.  Fantastic party after our wedding, off to Jamaica the next day with Kent’s sister and her husband.  What a blast!

We moved into our new home.  We had our kids there and then moved into another wonderful home in Cicero, NY. Next best days of my life were having our children.  I never in my wildest dreams thought I would ever want kids.  I sure was wrong about that.  Wish I had more that is for sure.

Next move was Green Bay WI.  Added another child to our family. I guess you get what you wish for sometimes!

3 kids and the addition of my kids significant others and 2 dogs later (Scrappy was with us 12 years, Rooney is 1 year old).  How fabulous is that!!

We are still alive and well.  He has put up with all of me.  I am quite the handful.  We have had our ups and downs.  Don’t we all!  As long as you allow the one you love to be who they need to be and they do the same for you it will all work out.  It’s not that hard.

Happy Anniversary, Darlin’!!  june 2014 007Hope to have 28 more (as long was we are still standing)!! 😉

I crack myself up!

Here is a first world problem that I have been dealing with for about 6 months.  Whenever anyone tries to call me on my cell phone it automatically will go into voice mail.  In order for me to get the call you would have to immediately call me a second time.  I know this because Martin has been dealing with it for 6 months too.  He keeps telling me to fix my phone.  I am great at procrastinating and telling him I will take care of it (I promise), and then I forget and you know how that goes.

I Googled my first world problem to see if anyone else was having the same issue with their iPhone.  It appeared other people had the same problems.  They were also unable to fix it.  That was about as far as I got into attempting to fix my phone.

One day Martin2 tried logic on me and said I really need to fix my phone.  If there was an emergency and the hospital tried to call me, that person would not know to call me right back.   So after that lecture I made an attempt to get my phone fixed.  I called Verizon’s customer service.  The lady went through all kinds of tests.  In the end my phone seemed to work, at least for her, and that was that.  I called Martin to have him call me.  Well, needless to say it did NOT work.  Ugh, I will call back another day.

So, weeks go by and Martin is like MOM FIX YOUR PHONE!!  His nagging got me to stop into the Verizon store today.  I explained my dilemma to the nice Verizon guy.  He immediately looks at my phone.  He asked me if I noticed the “moon”.  I said “Oh yeah, that has been there a long time.  I didn’t know why but I just figured it meant it wasn’t anything important.”  He smiled and pressed some buttons and said with a smile “It was on Do Not Disturb.  That is what the moon means!”  HaHaHa, that cracked me up!

My mom calls me (with love mind you) ditzy, scatterbrained and an airhead.  If I didn’t have to scream into the phone to talk to her I would tell her this story. It would crack her up too!! I guess I will save it for the next time I visit or maybe I will print this out and show her.

Oh, and if you are having that problem (as all those people on Google).  See, if you have a “moon” in the upper right hand corner of your phone.  Go to settings and turn off Do Not Disturb! 😀

Too Much Stuffing AGAIN!

Thanksgiving is by far my favorite “holiday”.  The main event is food.  Sitting at a table with family and friends and eating a meal together.  This year we have so much to be thankful for.  We had some losses and we had some bumps in the road this year.   However, on Thanksgiving day we were all sitting at the table together.  We shared with each other what we are thankful for, enjoyed our meal, laughed and had great conversation.  Sitting at the table, I was looking at these wonderful people that I love very much and so very thankful I have them in my life.

I have been with my husband since February 1982.  That would be over 31years.  He has tolerated my insane Thanksgiving behavior for at least 15 of those years.  Especially since we moved to Green Bay in 2011.  I think that is when Thanksgiving became even more important to me.  Needless to say, every year around August…yes, August I start slowly, gradually discussing Thanksgiving.  Kent and the kids think I am absolutely crazy! (Really) I love to discuss the “menu”.  Sometimes I start out by not wanting to have anything to do with the tradtional menu. I go on and on and on about the menu. No turkey here, let’s try ham or roast beef or whatever. (I, personally do not like turkey at all.) However, it just doesn’t seem to work that way.  We always end up with the basic traditional menu.

My big problem is stuffing.  Yes, stuffing.  I go back and forth on what recipe should I use for stuffing.  I ALWAYS make too much stuffing.  I try so hard to make an amount that is enough for everyone to have but not too much left over.  Last year I told Eric to remind me this year NOT to overdo the stuffing.  He told Siri; “remind mom not to overdo stuffing this year”.  Siri reminded him and he reminded me this year.  I keep a list of what I do for Thanksgiving each year.  I have done that for about 5 years now.  In each of my handwritten notes (all over the place by the way)  continued november 013I have “DON’T OVERDO STUFFING” (in caps, just like that).  Well, this year I decided to make a combination of cornbread/regular bread stuffing.  Needless to say with the reminder from Eric, the mention of not making too much stuffing from Kent, I still made way too much stuffing. UGH!

Leftovers are great.  Kids having their own place is great too.  They get to take the leftovers home!  Martin and Martin opted for the dessert leftovers.  Eric and Rachel came back the next day for the turkey/stuffing (yes, stuffing) leftovers.  Stuffing is still in my refrigerator!

Now that my favorite day of the year has come and gone my thoughts head towards Christmas.  I think this year I would like to not buy as many presents as I do EVERY SINGLE year.  I told the kids I was going to be good this year and not spend a lot.  Small gifts, that’s it!

Well, Christmas is kind of like Thanksgiving for me.  I overdo the stuffing and I overdo the gifts.  But this year, it is going to be different, right?!  😉